What your Shipping Case Warranty is Really Worth?

The only honest answer is; It depends. The large case companies such as Pelican, SKB, Parker, and UK all offer “Lifetime” warranties on their products. However, like most warranties, there are some significant details in the fine print.

An example of this is that none of the manufacturers’ warranties cover the contents of the case. The term not only applies to your personal items that may have been damaged, but also to any interior foam work you have in the case. In many instances, the value of what gets broken or destroyed on the inside of the case far exceeds the value of the case itself. The good news here is that if your case got broken in commercial shipping or airline travel, you may be able to recover value of your personal contents from the shipper or airline. You will have a difficult time getting money back for your custom case interior, but it can been done, especially if you have purchase receipts.

Another not-so-minor detail is that you must send the broken case back to the manufacturer, at your cost, to qualify for a replacement case. Since all of the companies listed above are in California, this could be a significant cost if you are on the East Coast and have a large case. You will only receive back an empty case, or one with a foam kit in it (depending on what you bought in the first place). If you have a custom case interior, you will lose the value of that unless it is built as an insert that can be removed without tearing the cushioning material.

Many times it can take several weeks to get your replacement case, this can be a major hassle if you travel extensively with your case. If you purchased your case through a distributor, they can assist you in getting things moving faster. Do not hesitate to ask.

On the positive side, most of the modern case designs have user replaceable components. The most common warranty issues with cases are broken latches and broken wheels. On most case styles, these are fixable with common household tools. Once again, the person you bought the case from should be able to supply these items to you under the warranty, without having to send the case back.

Your case is actually a long-term investment. It should give you years of service and will most likely “ugly” out before it wears out. To protect your investment, buy your case from a local dealer who also has repair and custom interior capabilities. The case companies do not want you to send your case back any more than you do. They rely on the local dealers to service cases and get customers back on the road quickly.

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